the_mighty_monarch's Red Hood and the Outlaws #23 - All Fall Down review

One Man Army vs. Not Much of an Army

This cover is just beautifully over the top, and it works great for Arsenal. Leaping off a wall aiming a bow with a scope? And he's got a giant laser cannon, machine gun, rocket launcher, freaking katana and hella all sorts of other weapons. He damn sure earns his name.

Unfortunately it's this cover, combined with all the buildup to this issue, that creates a lot of expectations that are ultimately unfulfilled in this issue. While Arsenal does go all one-man-army against the League of Assassins, it doesn't really feel like he's going up against an army worthy of countering him. For maybe 3 panels there's a plethora of Man-Bat foot soldiers...... and they're all taken out in an instance by Arsenal's dart drones. Or they just disappear, it's very unclear. There's a panel with a bunch of them not getting taken out.... but then they stop showing up, and Arsenal just has to fight maybe 4 elite assassins. He doesn't even get an awesome fight with them, he takes out a few with specialized gadgets that taken them out of play, and then he's subdued. It's pretty anticlimactic.

And then it's pretty much all rendered moot when then final cliffhanger involves Red Hood and the League of Assassins against The Untitled. This arc was spent creating a situation where there appeared to be no moral high ground, and yet this issue begins with us totally on Arsenals side, but once he's taken out we're basically entirely taken to Red Hood's side as The Untitled are the cliffhanger foe when last issue they were the cliffhanger ally for Arsenal. It's just.... not well handled because it's FAR too convoluted for its own good with so much still left ambiguous.

In Conclusion: 3/5

This series has really been unfortunately teetering on the edge of mediocrity since Tynion took over. His character interaction is top nothc. He's doing a fantastic job at writing all of the characters to be interesting and awesome; but the plot is all sorts of confusing and oddly paced. Part of it might be due to him using Lobdell's already ill-defined leftovers. I have a nagging suspicion based on specific evidence that the plan was originally set to have Jason permanently scarred by the Joker, but at the last minute DC editorial decided against it. That had amazing potential, and all evidence points to much of the current Red Hood and the Outlaws being a rushed replacement story in many ways. So maybe once this arc is over it'll be back up to standards.

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